For me, a good story is one that sweeps me off my feet and transports me smack dab into the center of its world. First sentences are critical so make sure you’ve given yours ample attention. Unusual sensory details, simple words used in unconventional ways, and risk-taking all thrill me in fiction. I love stories with intense and complicated characters, stories about love and toddlers and life changes and outsiders. Although I’m not really a genre kind of gal, I have enjoyed stories with some fantasy elements, as long as the characters and relationships are grounded in authenticity. And if you can make me laugh out loud, you’re as good as in. Wondering whether your short fiction is a good fit for Cobalt?
Check out the following list of ten stories that make me want to quit my day job:
- Simon Rich, “I Love Girl”
- Anne Hebert, “Handy Tips on How to Behave at the Death of the World”
- T. Kira Madden, “The Greeter”
- Alexandra Chang, “Tseung Family Snapshot”
- Heather Pagano, “Mrs. Cattywompus and the Piebald Porcine Prize”
- Akhil Sharma, “You Are Happy?”
- Alicia Bruzzone, “Your Guide to the Perfect Mars Getaway”
- Raymond Carver, “Cathedral”
- Daisy Hernandez, “Bad Teeth”
- Langston Hughes, “One Friday Morning”
- Courtney Zoffness, “Peanuts Aren’t Nuts”
Please do not submit more than 3,000 words total. This can be a single work or multiple (combined into one submission), so long as the total word count is 3,000 words or less.
I ask, politely, that you take a moment and read the overall guidelines above. Scout’s honor: if you read them carefully, I will read your submission just as carefully.